During the upcoming Singapore Art Week 2019, SAM will offer a sneak preview of the Singapore Biennale 2019 (SB2019) through a Teaser event featuring SB2019 artists. Taking place on Saturday, 26 January 2019, the Teaser event will feature SAM curators and four contemporary artists in artist-curator talks, screenings and experimental performances throughout the afternoon and evening.
SB2019 artists Dennis Tan (Singapore/Japan) and Vandy Rattana (Cambodia) will be in conversation with SAM curators. Tan will explore the possibility of rebuilding and racing a Kolek, a traditional Southeast Asian racing yacht, as well as the cultural, anthropological, and historical implications of reviving this traditional sport; while Vandy will delve into his philosophical approach to art-making and the technicalities of producing films in a rapidly- changing Khmer landscape.
SAM will also screen Vandy’s moving image works MONOLOGUE and Funeral, set in Cambodia and centred around Khmer people, that show a deeply personal side to the themes of loss, trauma, death and the afterlife. MONOLOGUE focuses on a small plot of unmarked land where Vandy’s sister and grandmother were discarded and buried, alongside five thousand others during the Khmer Rouge regime in 1978. Funeral follows up by considering the paradoxes of civilisation through a fictional narrative that references metaphors of life, death and rebirth.
The Teaser event will end with a night of experimental performances blending sound and moving images by SB2019 artists Arnont Nongyao (Thailand) and Zai Tang (Singapore/UK). From using field recordings of creatures from various habitats in Singapore threatened by human-centred development, to reassembled archival footage and audio recordings of weekly markets in the northern part of Thailand, the performances provide a preview of the artists’ proposed installations for the upcoming Biennale.
Patrick Flores, the Artistic Director of SB2019 says, “The practice of these artists conveys the energy of Singapore Biennale 2019. It responds to the need to reflect on the condition of our time and invites a broad public to do this in the always shifting, and thus always urgent, contexts of contemporary art. Sound, moving image, performance, research, technology, craft, and local knowledge come together in this festival-seminar event which I hope members of the public will be inspired to participate in.”
More details about SB2019, including the title and direction, curatorial model, and venues, will be shared during Singapore Art Week 2019.